ALPENA, Mich. — Folks from around the community arrived at city hall in Alpena to commemorate the retirement of Greg Sundin as he passed the torch to new city manager, Rachel Smolinski. Sundin became permanent manager in 2013 after Thad Taylor was fired from the position in 2012.
Sundin says when he arrived things were in turmoil, but he and his colleagues were able to keep things together. “”The fact that we were able to keep the ship of state stable and move us forward the way we have,” he said. “Getting through difficult economic times without having to eliminate any employees, maintain services at a high level, I think we’re very proud of that.”
The thing Sundin said what he is going to miss the most was his great staff and the people he’s had the pleasure of working with. “It’s time, but at the same time it’s going to be leaving a lot of people that I’ve worked with for a long time and have really become friends so that’ll be hard. I know I’m around and I’ll see them but it won’t be the same. It will be a new chapter in my life.”
Rachel Smolinski has officially taken over as of 5 p.m. on Friday. She comes from harbor springs and has been getting ready for her new position by working with Sundin for the past few weeks. Sundin says she is extremely committed and has seen her show a lot of initiative. “She obviously has a learning curve, as we all do when we come into something new, but I think she’s going to make a shorter one than maybe a lot of people think and I think she’s going to be a good fit with the city.”
Retirement is going to provide Sundin with a lot of spare time, and he says he plans to travel to Africa with his daughter next year.